Designing your garden
From PinataIsland.info, the Viva Piñata wiki
A well-designed garden is not only a pleasant environment for your Piñatas to live and play, but also one for you and your family or friends to enjoy and admire. Here are a few suggestions which might help, as you envision and build your new island paradise.
Remember that you can create multiple gardens, so you don't need to try to cram everything into one (and you never could). Having a purpose in mind for a particular garden may help to make the gameplay go smoother. For example, you may want a "working garden" in which you are quick to buy and sell the things you need to attract, romance, or make variants of your pinatas. Once you get the awards you want, you can crate or sell the lot and start over for the next species. If that's the goal, you don't need to obsess about the placement of houses or the decorating details as much . On the other hand, you may want a nice showy garden as a final home for your most valuable pinatas of a certain kind, and then you'll want to take your time and experiment with the placement of different plants, buildings, and other items.
Players may create separate working gardens for each kind of terrain: short grass, long grass, water, etc. This allows for switching between pinata goals without tearing up and replacing the ground cover as frequently. You may also want a special garden for growing weeds or farming plants for money. Keep your goals in mind and don't be afraid to switch between several gardens.
Bigger is better
A cozy little area might be great for two, but when your Bunnycombs multiply like... well... bunnies, will their current enclosure be big enough to support a much larger population? Planning ahead will help avoid any frustrations from having to make a larger habitat for them, especially if surrounding space is at a premium.
Do you have several species that each enjoy the water? Instead of building multiple individual ponds, consider digging a larger lake that several species can share and enjoy together. Each Piñata could still enjoy its own personal lakeside corner lot, yet still go for a dip or a paddle with their friendly neighbors.
Noisy neighbors? Piñatas picking fights? Keep in mind that some species don't get along with certain other species. Locating a Pretztail right next to the Cluckle coop might be great for the Pretztail, but your Cluckles will probably get a bit tense! One way to segregate species is by distance. Fences also help to isolate species, although a Piñata can still wander through an open gate. See Food chain for a list of species that might not be on the best of terms.
Conversely, it's ideal to situate species that happily coexist closer together, perhaps even in a larger common area, where they can all enjoy similar flowers or trees.
Borders and pathways
Although sharing a common fence might be practical, sometimes it's a pleasant touch to leave spaces between enclosures, for a path, bordered by grass. Make sure your pathway is big enough for the larger Piñatas who want to wander around. Pathways are also important for helpers to easily travel from spot to spot around your garden. Remember that the longer it takes for a Helper to get somewhere, the less time he or she is actually helping. Also keep in mind what areas might need wider spacing. There's nothing more frustrating for a Piñata, than a herd of them trying to squeeze through a narrow path to get to some nearby candy!
Place bigger items first
When placing garden pieces, it often helps to place larger pieces first, such as houses, before you plant your flowers or vegetables. Once your big items are arranged where you want them, you can go in and add any trees or paths, and finish off with your smaller landscaping touches, such as flowers. Don't forget to leave room for future items, should you want to add a new piece or two.
Consider leaving some open spaces to place varied pieces, like a favorite statue, or perhaps a sundial or birdbath. Also, remember that flowers aren't just enjoyed by Piñatas. A few here or there, along the outside border of a fence, always help to brighten up your garden! (Just remember to keep likes and dislikes in mind, so you're not inadvertently attracting unwanted attention!)
You can isolate a piñata or its house in a certain place with fences. These fences can be used to separate different piñata species that don't get along, protect your crops from hungry pinatas or to stop a piñata, like the elephanilla, from wreaking havoc on your garden. There are different types of fences like wooden or stone fences.
It's surprising how carefully chosen paving can smarten up a garden. Digging a pond around placed paving makes for nice bridges or docks. Pebble paving sprinkled along a dirt path can give a deeper feel to the pathway. Bricks go with a cottage garden, stone slabs complement stone fence, and grid designs can look great. Paving also can be useful to prevent seeds from planting themselves.
Statues and other items
One way to decorate your garden is with statues. Statues include a statue of Banjo and Kazooie from the popular Rare game Banjo-Kazooie. Other popular characters by Rare such as Mumbo Jumbo can be found in statue form as well. Other Easter Eggs can be found such as an accessory of Bottle's glasses and a house for the Crowla that is a model of the mansion from "Grabbed by the Ghoulies".
Some of the items in Costalot's store will have interesting effects on the garden. They may invite a particular kind of weather, for example
Consider a theme
As you become a higher level gardener and more items are unlocked, you will notice that many of them go together in a common theme. Some obvious themes include holidays, pirate, and oriental. In Trouble in Paradise you may want a dedicated golf course, fashion show, music, or dance garden. When you're going for a particular theme, you may find counter-intuitive ways to arrange your garden that have great results. Maybe you want dead trees or fence mazes. Perhaps a plain dirt garden floor will be just right, or long stripes of alternating sand, snow, and grass will make your Zumbugs as happy as can be. Be creative!
Sharing the fun
Via Xbox Live, you can trade items from your garden by using the Post Office, and in Trouble In Paradise you can play together with up to 4 people over Xbox live or a direct connection. This expands the potential for designing your garden because visiting gardeners may have access to different items due to their gardener level and achievements. You may also find some great ideas for a particular look or feel just by dropping by some other gardens.